Mahan def. McIlroy in WGC-Match Play finale

Hunter Mahan watches his tee shot on the 12th hole during the championship match of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

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Deutsche Bank Championship

Memphis, TN - TPC Boston

2:25:29 AM ET. 08/31/2014




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MARANA, Ariz. – Even as Hunter Mahan motored his way through the Match Play Championship by beating one tough opponent after another, he had reason to feel he was just along for the ride in the final match Sunday afternoon.

All the chatter was about U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy and his march to No. 1 in the world.

All the chants Mahan heard as he walked down the first two holes at Dove Mountain were for McIlroy.

With a little extra motivation he didn’t need, Mahan won three straight holes on the front nine to seize control and answered McIlroy’s charge with birdies of his own for a 2-and-1 victory.

“Deep down, you wanted to postpone that crowning of the No. 1 player in the world for Rory,” Mahan said. “He’ll get there. I mean, he’s phenomenal. He’s really talented. He’ll be No. 1 eventually. But yeah, when you’re a player, and I listen to Johnny Miller and Nick Faldo and all those guys, they had him picked to win. And that’s what everybody was talking about.

“There was absolute motivation in that.”

It proved to be too long of a day for McIlroy, the 22-year-old from Northern Ireland, who put so much energy into a high-stakes semifinal match against Lee Westwood earlier Sunday. If either of them won the tournament, they would go to No. 1 in the world.

McIlroy, explosive as ever, ran off seven birdies in a 10-hole stretch to overcome an early deficit and beat Westwood. He looked flat in the championship match, made a series of mistakes to lose back-to-back holes, and fell too far behind to catch Mahan.

“To me, it was like my final in a way,” McIlroy said of his win over Westwood. “That was the one I wanted all week and I got. And that’s what I got myself up for. Yeah, maybe mentally and emotionally it did take a little bit out of me. But it still doesn’t take away from the fact that Hunter played very, very solid golf.”

“Even though I threw a few birdies and an eagle at him in the back nine, he still responded well and held on,” he said. “I think during the course of the week, he had played the best golf and deserved to win.”

Mahan can easily make a case for that.

The six guys he had to beat at Dove Mountain were Zach Johnson, Y.E. Yang, Steve Stricker, Matt Kuchar, Mark Wilson and McIlroy. Three of them have won majors. Five of them have made Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup teams. The exception was his semifinal match against Wilson, who has won three times on the PGA Tour in the last 14 months.

It required his best golf, and Mahan delivered with 35 birdies in 96 holes over six matches.

“It feels good because you’re going against the game’s best,” Mahan said. “I played well from tee-to-green, putting to chipping to driving, irons, everything was there. I needed everything to win. I’m very proud of how I played. It feels great. It really does.”

Mahan won for the fourth time in his career, two of them World Golf Championships. He also won the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone in 2010. He joins Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Geoff Ogilvy and Darren Clarke as the only players to win multiple WGC titles since these events began in 1999.

And he was the first American to win the Match Play Championship since Woods in 2008. He moves to No. 9 in the world, the first time in his career that Mahan has cracked the top 10.

Luke Donald stays at No. 1, though McIlroy is closing in quickly. McIlroy, who rejoined the PGA Tour this year, plays the Honda Classic next week against a strong field, and then has another WGC at Doral.

He never led in the championship match against Mahan, losing an opportunity on the opening hole when he missed a 4-foot par putt. Mahan took the lead with a 9-iron into 2 feet for a conceded birdie on the par-3 sixth.

On the seventh hole, with Mahan already in trouble in a deep collection area left of the green, McIlroy pulled his short iron and joined him there. But it took McIlroy two chips to get on the green, and he lost the hole with a double bogey.

Then McIlroy’s sand wedge hopped over the green on the par-5 eighth and he lost that hole with a bogey.

Mahan’s big lead was enough to withstand the McIlroy charge. McIlroy played the opening six holes on the back nine in 5-under par, but still picked up only one hole on Mahan.

“I tried to claw myself back, but I left myself too much work,” McIlroy said.

He also got off to a slow start against Westwood, 3 down through four holes, before roaring past him. McIlroy didn’t have the shots, and didn’t appear to have the energy, to do that twice in one day.

That was always his concern. There was so much anticipation about his semifinal match with Westwood.

“Maybe the intensity wasn’t quite as much as it was this morning going out,” McIlroy said. “I think that’s a little understandable after going through a match like that, thinking about it all last night and this morning.”

“I don’t think I’d do anything differently,” he said. “Because if I didn’t play with the same intensity in the morning, I might not have been in the finals.”

The last time Mahan was in a pressure situation against a player from Northern Ireland was in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, when U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell made a 15-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole of the decisive match.

Even so, the memories of that match are Mahan duffing a chip on the last hole, though McDowell was likely to win the match, anyway. Mahan has worked hard on his chipping, and he feels it carried him this week.

Two shots were pivotal.

McIlroy won his first hole by chipping in for eagle from about 60 feet on the par-5 11th. Two holes later, McIlroy was safely in for birdie and Mahan had to get up-and-down from a bunker to avoid losing another hole. He blasted out to 6 feet and made the putt.

McIlroy birdied the 14th from 7 feet to cut the lead to 2 up, and on the 315-yard 15th, he hit driver to 30 feet for an eagle attempt. Mahan was short of the green, and elected to use his putter.

Club selection was never in doubt.

“I thought that was the best play,” Mahan said. “My touch with my putting has been pretty awesome this week. And at that time, where Rory is, I felt that gave me the best chance to make it.”

He nearly did, rolling it right on line, just short. McIlroy missed his putt and Mahan stayed 2 up.

McIlroy looked like the world’s best player, but only on Sunday morning.

In the most anticipated match of the week, Westwood birdied two holes and won another when McIlroy missed a 5-footer for par to build a 3-up lead through four holes. As quickly as Westwood took the lead, he lost it.

McIlroy was simply sensational.

With the trophy on the line, however, he didn’t have enough left for Mahan.

– Associated Press

• • •

Championship: Hole No. 17

• Off the tee: McIlroy hits first and finds the fairway with a perfectly-struck 3-wood. Mahan, hitting driver, hits it past him, also in the center of the fairway.

McIlroy, playing first, hits the back of the green and will have a long birdie attempt, while Mahan finds the center of the green and should have an easy two-putt.

McIlroy putts first and hits it right on-line, but 6 inches short. Mahan hits his lag putt inside 8 inches and is conceded the par for the victory.

MAHAN WINS, 2 AND 1

• • •

Championship: Hole No. 16

• Off the tee: Rory McIlroy, hitting first, finds the right-center of the green at the par-3 16th and will have about 35 feet left for his birdie. Mahan hits a 7-iron to pin-high, about 17 feet right of the pin.

McIlroy misses his putt just to the right and gives Mahan a chance to close out the match with a birdie. . .

Mahan hits a nice putt that lips-out hard to the right. He has 3 feet remaining for par and knocks it in.

Mahan leads, 2 up, with two to play

• • •

Championship: Hole No. 15

• Off the tee: At the driveable par-4 15th, McIlroy hits a beautiful tee shot to 25 feet and gives himself a good look at eagle. Mahan hits his tee shot right at the flag, but comes up just short of the green.

From the front fringe, Mahan pulls a putter and rolls his eagle attempt 6 inches from the hole. He taps in for birdie.

McIlroy's eagle attempt to win the hole is left the whole way and leaves him with a 4-footer for birdie, which he makes.

Mahan leads, 2 up, with three to play

• • •

Championship: Hole No. 14

Off the tee: Rory McIlroy, hitting first, pulls 3-wood and hits a tight draw into the center of the fairway. Mahan, hitting a driver, lucks out and watches his tee shot bounce over the left fairway bunker and land in the rough, where he appears to have a nice lie.

Mahan, playing from the rough, hits first and finds the very back of the green, leaving a very lengthy birdie opportunity.

McIlroy hits a beautiful approach at the 14th, using the slope to curl his shot inside 8 feet.

Mahan lags his long birdie attempt to inside 3 feet and will have an easy look at par. However, it won't matter, as McIlroy rolls in his birdie attempt.

Mahan leads, 2 up

• • •

Championship: Hole No. 13

• Off the tee: Both players find the fairway with tremendous tee shots at the par-5 13th and should be in good shape to hit the green in two shots.

Mahan, hitting first, can't find the green, hitting the right fairway bunker and leaving a short-sided shot. McIlroy finds the front of the green and will have a lengthy attempt at eagle.

McIlroy hits a fantastic lag putt, negotiating three slopes in a 60-foot putt and leaving himself a tap-in birdie.

Mahan gets his bunker shot up and down, sinking a 6-footer for birdie to halve the hole.

Mahan leads, 3 up, with five to play

• • •

Championship: Hole No. 12

Off the tee: Neither player is able to get it close at the par-3 12th, as McIlroy leaves himself a lengthy putt from the back corner and Mahan finds the back fringe.

Mahan lags to concession range and makes par, while McIlroy does the same, missing left. The hole is halved with pars.

Mahan leads, 3 up

• • •

Championship: Hole No. 11

• Off the tee: Mahan finds yet another fairway and McIlroy is in the first cut, running his tee shot through the right side of the fairway.

Going for the green in two at the par-5 11th, Mahan misses the green well left and will have a tough up-and-down for birdie. McIlroy hits his approach right at the pin, but leaves it short, leaving what should be a fairly simple up-and-in.

Simple, indeed. McIlroy chips-in for eagle and Mahan isn't able to answer, reducing his lead to 3 up.

Mahan leads, 3 up

• • •

Championship: Hole No. 10

Off the tee: Both players grab driver and find the center of the fairway at the par-4 10th.

Mahan nearly holes his second shot, hitting a gorgeous approach from 179 yards. His ball rolls just past the cup and stops inside 2 feet.

McIlroy answers, hitting his approach to 10 feet.

Mahan's birdie is conceded and McIlroy is not able to convert his birdie attempt, falling to 4 down.

Mahan leads, 4 down

• • •

Championship: Hole No. 9

Off the tee: Mahan and McIlroy both find the center of the fairway at the par-4 ninth and should have good looks at the flag.

McIlroy, hitting first, finds the center of the green and will have some ridges to negotiate in his 15-foot birdie putt.

Hitting second, Mahan leaves his approach on the front of the green and will have a difficult 40-foot bender for birdie.

Mahan hits a nice birdie putt, rolling it 3 feet past the hole, while McIlroy leaves his attempt short. Both players tap-in for par and Mahan takes a 3-up lead into the back nine.

Mahan leads, 3 up

• • •

Championship: Hole No. 8

• Off the tee: Mahan hits a perfect driver that nearly runs through the fairway at the par-5 eighth, while McIlroy, hitting 3-wood, misses the fairway left and finds a bunker.

McIlroy hits a nice layup from the fairway bunker and will have a good look at the pin, while Mahan, from 248 yards, hits the front of the green and will have a long attempt at eagle.

McIlroy misses the green and chips to 10 feet for par. Mahan leaves his eagle attempt well short and can't convert the birdie attempt, but he lucks out, as McIlroy misses his par attempt and goes 3 down.

Mahan leads, 3 up

• • •

Championship: Hole No. 7

• Off the tee: Hunter Mahan hits first and his drive narrowly clears the fairway bunker at the par-4 seventh. McIlroy takes the exact same line off the tee and finds the fairway, three feet from Mahan's ball.

Both players take the same line from the fairway missing the green left and letting their ball filter down to the bottom of the hill.

McIlroy plays first and doesn't hit his shot hard enough, watching his ball roll back down to his feet. Mahan runs his chip shot past the pin and will have 15 feet left for par. McIlroy's second chip nearly hits the flag and drops, but instead runs 6 feet past the hole.

Mahan misses his putt low, making bogey, but Rory also misses his putt and goes 2 down.

Mahan leads, 2 up

• • •

Championship: Hole No. 6

Off the tee: Hunter Mahan hit the shot of the day off the tee at No. 6, nestling his tee shot inside 3 feet at the par-3 sixth. McIlroy couldn't answer, missing the green wide left with a tugged iron. He'll have a difficult up-and-down for par with Mahan in close for birdie.

Rory concedes Mahan's birdie and isn't able to hole his chip shot to halve.

Mahan leads, 1 up

• • •

Championship: Hole No. 5

Off the tee: At the long par-4 fifth, both players find the fairway with drivers, Mahan finding the right side with a high fade and McIlroy finding the dead center.

Mahan finds the front of the green and will have a downhill birdie putt of about 20 feet, while McIlroy hits the center of the green and will have about 25 feet for birdie.

McIlroy misses his birdie putt low and taps in for par, as does Mahan. That's the first hole that's been halved with pars.

The match remains all square.

• • •

Championship: Hole No. 4

• Off the tee: Hunter Mahan, hitting first, finds the center of the fairway and will have a good angle at the pin. McIlroy, wielding a driver at the par-4 fourth, hits his tee ball wayward to the right and will have a second shot from the desert.

Mahan, hitting first, finds the right greenside bunker with his approach, while McIlroy is forced to take an unplayable lie from the desert. With nothing but bushes around, McIlroy was forced to take his drop to the right of the desert and will have a steep uphill lie to play from.

With a half-wedge, McIlroy finds the middle of the green and will have 30 feet for par.

Mahan hits out of the bunker and past the pin, leaving 10 feet for par.

McIlroy runs his par attempt 3 feet past the hole and has a conceded bogey. Mahan runs his par attempt 3 feet past and McIlroy makes him putt the bogey to halve the hole, which he does.

The match remains all square through four.

• • •

Championship: Hole No. 3

Off the tee: Both players hit beautiful tee shots at the par-3 third, hitting the center of the green and using the slope to roll within 7 feet of the front-right pin.

Mahan, putting first, rolls in his birdie from about 7 feet and puts the pressure on McIlroy, who also makes his putt from 6 feet, 4 inches.

The match remains all square through three.

• • •

Championship: Hole No. 2

Off the tee: Hunter Mahan pulls his drive left and it trickles into an open spot in the desert. Rory McIlroy hammers his drive to the right side of the fairway, well over 300 yards.

Both players halved the par-5 second with birdies, with Mahan rolling in a lengthy putt and putting the pressure on McIlroy to hole a 4-footer for birdie.

The match remains all square.

• • •

Championship: Hole No. 1

Off the tee: Mahan uses 3-wood and puts it on the right side of the fairway, while McIlroy pulls iron and puts it about 10 yards behind Mahan.

Second shot: Both players go over the green with their approach shots, with McIlroy on the lip of the second cut of rough and Mahan in the rough.

Third shot: McIlroy plays a nice chip to about three feet under the hole. Mahan comes up way short on his chip, leaving himself at least 15 feet for par.

Fourth shot: Mahan misses his putt to the left and McIlroy sees his par putt lip out. Both bogey putts are conceded to halve the hole.

THRU 1 HOLE: All square

Elsewhere on the course

• Mark Wilson has taken a 1-up lead over Lee Westwood thru 2 holes in the consolation match.

• • •

McIlroy-Westwood: Hole No. 16

Off the tee: McIlroy hammers it into the middle of the fairway, as does Westwood.

Second shot: Westwood goes right after it, but comes up short of the green. From 126 yards, McIlroy lands it pin-high and spins back to the front of the green, about 20 feet under the hole.

Third shot: Westwood doesn't play a good chip and leaves himself eight feet for par. McIlroy powers it past the hole and leaves himself four feet for par.

Fourth shot: Westwood misses the par putt and concedes the hole and match to McIlroy.

McILROY WINS 3 AND 1

• • •

McIlroy-Westwood: Hole No. 16

Off the tee: Westwood plays a nice shot to about 15 feet at the par 3, while McIlroy pulls his tee shot into a greenside bunker. McIlroy didn't like the shot off the tee, showing disgust immediately.

Second shot: McIlroy plays a great bunker shot and has about four feet for par. Westwood misses his putt and stays away, running it by on the left.

Third shot: Both make their par putts to move to the 17th hole.

THUR 16 HOLES: McIlroy, 2 up

• • •

Mahan-Wilson: Hole No. 17

Off the tee: Mahan takes it to the right side of the fairway, while Wilson puts it in the center of the fairway. Wilson is playing the 17th hole for the first time this week (in a competitive round).

Second shot: Mahan plays his approach out to the right, hitting the green and he'll have a lengthy birdie try. Wilson flies well past the hole and will have at least 55 feet coming back down the green.

Third shot: Wilson misses his long putt to the right, leaving Mahan with two putts to win. He uses them to close out Wilson.

MAHAN WINS 2 AND 1

• • •

McIlroy-Westwood: Hole No. 15

Off the tee: McIlroy finds the bunker about 20 yards in front of the green at the par-4 15th, opening the door for Westwood. And he takes advantage, smacking his driver and landing on the green, about 12 away for eagle.

Second shot: McIlroy hits the green out of the bunker and spins it back to pin-high and about 12 feet to the left of the pin. Westwood drains his putt to win the hole.

THRU 15 HOLES: McIlroy, 2 up

• • •

Mahan-Wilson: Hole No. 16

Off the tee: Mahan pulls his tee shot at the par 3 into a greenside bunker, while Wilson plays a great tee ball to about 15 feet under the hole.

Second shot: Mahan plays a nice bunker shot to about six feet, while Wilson misses his birdie putt to the left and about three feet past.

Third shot: Both players nail their par putts to send the match to the 17th hole. Wilson will need to win the final two holes to extend the match.

THRU 16 HOLES: Mahan, 2 up

• • •

McIlroy-Westwood: Hole No. 14

Off the tee: McIlroy lands in the middle of the fairway, as does Westwood.

Second shot: McIlroy is pin-high and about 12 feet to the left and Westwood is on the green, but about 25 feet under the hole.

Third shot: Westwood doesn't play enough break and misses his putt under the hole. But McIlroy doesn't make him pay for the mistake, missing his birdie putt to the left.

Fourth shot: Westwood makes his short par putt, as does McIlroy. A halve, but Westwood is running out of holes.

THRU 14 HOLES: McIlroy, 3 up

• • •

Mahan-Wilson: Hole No. 15

Off the tee: Wilson finds a bunker in the middle of the fairway at the short par 4. Mahan steers clear of that bunker and it comes up about five yards short of the green.

Second shot: Wilson does what he can out of the bunker, getting it to the edge of the green. Mahan plays a chip shot and leaves about six feet for birdie.

Third shot: Wilson plays a nice third shot and picks up a conceded par. But Mahan makes his birdie putt to extend his lead.

THRU 15 HOLES: Mahan, 2 up

• • •

Mahan-Wilson: Hole No. 14

Off the tee: Wilson finds the fairway at the par 4, while Mahan runs through the fairway and into a bunker.

Second shot: Mahan hits a great 9-iron out of the bunker and will have 25 feet for birdie. Wilson hits his approach pin-high and about 15 feet left.

Third shot: Mahan leaves his putt to the left and Wilson pushes it to the right. They concede each other's par putts to halve the hole.

THRU 14 HOLES: Mahan, 1 up

• • •

McIlroy-Westwood: Hole No. 13

Off the tee: McIlroy hits the right side of the fairway with a lengthy drive. Westwood hammers a drive well left and it lands in a crowd of spectators. The ball comes to rest inside the collar of a woman's sweater, as she had bent over to avoid the ball. Westwood has to drop the ball in the long rough.

Second shot: Westwood tries to muscle it out, but finds more trouble on the left and will be hitting his third from left of the rough. McIlroy goes for the green in two and makes it, with about 35 feet for eagle.

Third shot: Westwood will still be away after hitting right next to McIlroy's ball on the green, but Westwood will be putting for birdie.

Fourth shot: Westwood gives it a run, but misses a foot to the left. McIlroy nearly holes his eagle putt and taps in for birdie to win the hole

THRU 13 HOLES: McIlroy, 3 up

• • •

McIlroy-Westwood: Hole No. 12

Off the tee: Both playing 7-iron, McIlroy is safely on the green at the tough par 3, while Westwood is also on, but about 40 feet way. McIlroy is around 20 feet from the pin.

Second shot: Westwood hits a nice birdie putt and it settles about 18 inches short of the cup. McIlroy drains a very difficult birdie putt, doing his own version of a fist pump as the ball disappears into the cup.

THRU 12 HOLES: McIlroy, 2 up

• • •

Mahan-Wilson: Hole No. 13

Off the tee: Wilson and Mahan both hit the fairway with driver at the par 5. Mahan is about 20 yards further.

Second shot: Both players hit a bunker about 15 yards in front of the green.

Third shot: Wilson plays a nice shot from the bunker, leaving it about 10 feet under the hole. Mahan gets too much ball out of the bunker and flies well over the flag and will have around 30 feet for birdie.

Fourth shot: Mahan hits a nice lag putt to about 18 inches right of the cup. Wilson doesn't take advantage and the hole is halved.

THRU 13 HOLES: Mahan, 1 up

• • •

Mahan-Wilson: Hole No. 12

Off the tee: Mahan goes after the dangerous hole location at the par 3 and hits the green, but it runs off and into the rough at the back of the green. Wilson hits the green, but is about 35 feet under the hole.

Second shot: Mahan plays a poor shot from a tough lie and will have about 15 feet for par. Wilson plays the speed perfectly and settles a foot left of the hole.

Third shot: Wilson's par is conceded, while Mahan misses to drop a hole.

THRU 12 HOLES: Mahan, 1 up

• • •

McIlroy-Westwood: Hole No. 11

Off the tee: McIlroy hammers his drive to the right and into the first cut of rough, and Westwood does the same.

Second shot: McIlroy tries to go for the par 5 in two, and hits a cart path, then hits some desert and somehow it rolls back out and into play. Westwood comes up short of the green in two and will have a tough chip across the long green.

Third shot: Westwood decides to use putter from off the green, and hits it a bit too hard and will have eight feet left for birdie. McIlroy plays an incredible shot, chipping into a slope at the backside of the green and having the ball funnel back down to about three feet.

Fourth shot: Westwood gives a little fist pump after making his birdie putt. McIlroy follows with a simple birdie to halve the hole.

THRU 11 HOLES: McIlroy, 1 up

• • •

Mahan-Wilson: Hole No. 11

Off the tee: Wilson finds the rough, while Mahan is in the fairway.

Second shot: Wilson tries to reach the par 5 in two, but comes up short and in a greenside bunker. Mahan does hit the green in two and will have a tricky putt for eagle.

Third shot: Mahan judges the speed perfectly and runs the eagle putt about two feet past. Wilson plays a great bunker shot to about four feet.

Fourth shot: Wilson makes his birdie, while Mahan does the same to halve another hole.

THRU 11 HOLES: Mahan, 2 up

• • •

McIlroy-Westwood: Hole No. 10

Off the tee: McIlroy and Westwood both pummel drives to the middle of the fairway on the par-4 10th.

Second shot: McIlroy plays a poor shot, but hits the green and is about 35 feet away for birdie. Westwood plays a chip-and-run and is under the hole and will have 10 feet for birdie.

Third shot: McIlroy misses his birdie putt about three feet past, and Westwood doesn't take advantage, missing his putt to the right.

Fourth shot: McIlroy knocks it in to halve the hole.

THRU 10 HOLES: McIlroy, 1 up

• • •

Mahan-Wilson: Hole No. 10

Off the tee: Wilson finds the rough on the right, while Mahan hits into a fairway bunker.

Second shot: Wilson comes up short of the green and in the rough. Mahan hits the shot of the day, landing it right in front of the green and it bounds to about two feet past the cup.

Third shot: Wilson chips in for birdie, while Mahan makes his putt to halve the hole.

THRU 10 HOLES: Mahan, 2 up

• • •

McIlroy-Westwood: Hole No. 9

Off the tee: McIlroy pounds it to the right side of the fairway, while Westwood nearly loses control of his club, but still finds the fairway, but well behind McIlroy.

Second shot: Westwood plays a fantastic shot, landing it pin-high and will have about 12 feet for birdie. McIlroy matches him with a shot inside of Westwood's, about eight feet away.

Third shot: Westwood plays too much break from right to left and it stays out right. McIlroy does make his birdie to take the lead for the first time in the match.

THRU 9 HOLES: McIlroy, 1 up

• • •

Mahan-Wilson: Hole No. 9

Off the tee: Mahan puts it in the right-center of the fairway at the par 4, while Wilson does the same, about 20 yards behind Mahan.

Second shot: Wilson safely puts it on the green, about 20 feet from the hole. From 175 yards, Mahan goes well past the flag, but on the putting surface.

Third shot: Mahan's right-to-left putt runs past the hole and settles three feet under the cup. Wilson gives his birdie attempt a good go, but it runs by on the right.

Fourth shot: Wilson's par is conceded, while Mahan drains his par and they halve the hole.

THRU 9 HOLES: Mahan, 2 up

• • •

McIlroy-Westwood: Hole No. 8

Off the tee: McIlroy hits the rough on the right and Westwood hits the rough on the left at the par 5.

Second shot: Westwood has a poor lie in the thick rough, and simply lays it up into the middle of the fairway. McIlroy chooses to go after it and puts it right in front of the green.

Third shot: Westwood plays a nice shot to about 15 feet in front of the pin, while McIlroy chips it to eight feet.

Fourth shot: Westwood gives his birdie putt and run, but it stays right and settles about two feet from the cup. McIlroy drains his putt to get the match back to square.

THRU 8 HOLES: All square

• • •

McIlroy-Westwood: Hole No. 7

Off the tee: McIlroy and Westwood both hit the fairway at the par 4.

Second shot: Westwood plays a nice second shot, settling pin-high and about 12 feet to the left. McIlroy takes it to the right of the pin and will have about 10 feet for birdie.

Third shot: McIlroy leaves his birdie putt out to the right. But Westwood can't take advantage, missing to the left.

Fourth shot: From three feet, McIlroy makes it to halve the hole.

THRU 7 HOLES: Westwood, 1 up

• • •

Mahan-Wilson: Hole No. 8

Off the tee: Mahan pounds it into the middle of the fairway at the par 5, while Wilson finds a fairway bunker to the right.

Second shot: Wilson has to lay up with a difficult lie out of the bunker, and he puts it the middle of the fairway. Mahan goes for it in two and comes up about 10 yard short of the green.

Third shot: Wilson find the green, but has about 30 feet for birdie. Mahan hits his chip shot to about eight feet.

Fourth shot: Wilson hits a nice putt, but it moves to the left and the end and he has to settle for par. Mahan misses as well and picks up a par.

THRU 8 HOLES: Mahan, 2 up

• • •

McIlroy-Westwood: Hole No. 6

Off the tee: McIlroy safely puts it on the green, about 30 feet under the hole. Westwood is also on the green, and will putt at the same distance as McIlroy.

Second shot: McIlroy drains his long birdie attempt, putting pressure on Westwood. And Westwood can't answer, finding the right line, but not hitting it hard enough and McIlroy wins a second straight hole.

THRU 6 HOLES: Westwood, 1 up

• • •

Mahan-Wilson: Hole No. 7

Off the tee: Wilson finds the fairway on the right, while Mahan finds the long rough on the right at the par 4.

Second shot: Wilson overshoots the green and puts it into the greenside rough. Mahan simply has to advance the ball forward, which he does, hitting it into the middle of the fairway.

Third shot: Mahan nearly puts it in the hole, spinning it back and to about four feet. Wilson has to chip back down the green and it runs about eight feet past.

Fourth shot: Wilson misses his par putt to the right, while Mahan makes his to extend his lead.

THRU 7 HOLES: Mahan, 2 up

• • •

McIlroy-Westwood: Hole No. 5

Off the tee: McIlroy finds the rough on the right, as does Westwood at hte par 4.

Second shot: McIlroy's approach goes right at the flag, but bounds about 30 feet past the pin. Westwood takes the same line, but it runs all the way through the green and up against the collar on the back of the green.

Third shot: Westwood tries to be delicate with the shot coming back down the green, but it stops about six feet short. McIlroy's putt hits the cup on the right and lips out, coming to rest about 18 inches from the cup.

Fourth shot: Westwood sees his putt lip out this time and picks up a bogey. McIlroy makes his par putt to win his first hole of the day.

THRU 5 HOLES: Westwood, 2 up

• • •

Mahan-Wilson: Hole No. 6

Off the tee: Both players are safely on the green at the par 3, with Wilson inside of Mahan.

Second shot: Mahan's birdie putt rolls about two feet past, while Wilson's is about a foot short.

Third shot: Wilson's putt is conceded and Mahan makes.

THRU 6 HOLES: Mahan, 1 up

• • •

McIlroy-Westwood: Hole No. 4

Off the tee: Westwood gets a kick in the middle of the fairway at the short par 4 and will have little left for his second shot. McIlroy doesn't have the same fortune, finding the rough on the right after pulling driver.

Second shot: McIlroy plays a nice chip right past the hole and it settles about 10 feet from the pin. Westwood putts it from just off the green and it runs three feet past.

Third shot: McIlroy misses his birdie putt to the left, and Westwood makes him pay by making his.

THRU 4 HOLES: Westwood, 3 up

• • •

Mahan-Wilson: Hole No. 5

Off the tee: Both players find the middle of the fairway, with Mahan slightly longer.

Second shot: Wilson lands it on the front of the green and it runs up to about pin-high. Mahan makes a complete mishit and the ball goes about 60 yards to the right and onto a tee box on adjacent hole (the 6th tee). All Mahan can do is chuckle in the fairway.

Third shot: Mahan hits a fantastic shot to about five feet. But Wilson drains his putt to cut into Mahan's lead.

THRU 5 HOLES: Mahan, 1 up

• • •

McIlroy-Westwood: Hole No. 3

Off the tee: Westwood safely puts his tee ball on the green at the par 3, while McIlroy finds a greenside bunker, trying to use his body language to coax the ball onto the green.

Second shot: Westwood leaves his birdie putt about an inch short of the cup. McIlroy hits the hole with his shot out of the bunker and it comes to rest about two feet away.

Third shot: Westwood's putt is conceded, and McIlroy misses his par putt to the left.

THRU 3 HOLES: Westwood, 2 up

• • •

Mahan-Wilson: Hole No. 4

Off the tee: Both players put it in the fairway, with Mahan using iron to do so at the par 4.

Second shot: Wilson and Mahan both carry it past the flag, with Mahan sitting about 12 feet away and Wilson nearly 25 feet past the pin.

Third shot: Wilson misses his long birdie putt while Mahan gently makes his to regain his 2-up lead.

THRU 4 HOLES: Mahan, 2 up

• • •

McIlroy-Westwood: Hole No. 2

Off the tee: Both Westwood and McIlroy go well right, with McIlroy finding a bunker and Westwood in the rough. All four players on Sunday have missed the fairway at the par-5 2nd hole.

Second shot: McIlroy tops his second shot, but does make it into the fairway. Westwood also lays up and into the fairway.

Third shot: McIlroy puts it on the green, about 25 feet under the hole. Westwood plays a superb shot, running it right past the hole and to about four feet.

Fourth shot: McIlroy misses his birdie putt, coming up about a foot short. Westwood makes to take an early advantage.

THRU 2 HOLES: Westwood, 1 up

• • •

Mahan-Wilson: Hole No. 3

Off the tee: Mahan misses his tee ball to the left and into a greenside bunker at the par 3. Wilson also goes left, but is able to spin it back onto the green, about 30 feet from the pin.

• Second shot: Mahan plays his bunker shot about 12 feet past the hole, while Wilson putts to about two feet.

Third shot: Wilson's putt is conceded, while Mahan misses to give Wilson his first hole.

THRU 3 HOLES: Mahan, 1 up.

• • •

Mahan-Wilson: Hole No. 2

Off the tee: Mahan finds a fairway bunker on the left and Wilson finds another one on the right.

Second shot: Both players have to lay-up at the par 5 and both get out cleanly.

Third shot: Mahan plays a good third shot, sticking it pin-high and about six feet for birdie. Wilson goes after the hole, but it runs about 12 feet past the hole.

Fourth shot: Wilson misses his birdie putt to the right. Mahan makes him pay by making his straight forward putt.

THRU 2 HOLES: Mahan, 2 up

• • •

McIlroy-Westwood: Hole No. 1

Off the tee: McIlroy has the honors and uses fairway wood to the middle of the fairway, while Westwood goes left and through the first cut of rough and into a deeper second cut.

Second shot: McIlroy goes over the green and will chip back onto the green through thick greenside rough, although he has a nice lie. Westwood puts his on the green, about 20 feet from the pin.

Third shot: McIlroy plays a superb chip shot to about 18 inches. Westwood misses his birdie putt to the right.

Fourth shot: Both players concede the short putts.

THRU 1 HOLE: All square

• • •

Mahan-Wilson: Hole No. 1

9:19 a.m. EST

Off the tee: Wilson finds trouble off the tee, with it leaking out through the rough and into the desert, where it looks like a small bush might block his second shot at the par 4. Mahan calmly puts his tee ball on the left side of the fairway.

Second shot: Mahan lands his approach shot pin-high and has about 15 feet for birdie, while Wilson comes up short and on the slope in front of the green.

Third shot: Wilson plays a nice third shot to about two feet, forcing Mahan to make his putt if he wants to take an early lead. And he misses, with the putt running out of steam under the hole.

Fourth shot: Wilson lips out on his two-footer, while Mahan makes his par putt to take the lead.

THRU 1 HOLE: Mahan, 1 up

• • •

Just what we needed

Finally! After a somewhat bland week in the Arizona desert, the matchup of Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood is just what the WGC-Match Play was missing. Story

• • •

No harm meant

Right after the affable Matt Kuchar played poorly in losing 6 and 5 to Hunter Mahan in the WGC-Accenture Match Play quarterfinals Saturday, he playfully said this to a television interviewer: “The only thing that will make me feel better is if I punch Nick Faldo square in the back of the neck.” Story.

• • •

Underdog Wilson into semis

Three years ago, Mark Wilson was spending this week in February in Mexico, where he had a victory that changed the course of his career. Story

• • •

Why the break?

At first glance, the 1-hour, 45-minute gap between the tee times of Saturday’s second and third quarterfinal matches struck some people as odd. Yes, there was some grumbling in the press tent because the move was driven by television. Blog.

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